FROM 1-18. Betwixt Madeira and Morocco

Aug 23, 2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 23 Aug 2005 UTC 44’50”N 009’52”W Ref 306

DB – the flea is rompin’

GPS 390, log 413 24hr= 148/157 = +30. No time to regard this with any auspicion – far too far to go yet, but could be worse.

Happy birthday Jeanne – we’re having our GMT Happy Birthday Con. There’s still local time to cover later as well.

We’ve just passed 45N – roughly the equivalent latitude to Maatsuyker south of Tasmania, the last of the 5 Capes if we have time to go that way (Hi Josh – we’ll certainly let you know and look out for Quetzalcoatl’s yellow flash). So – we have 5400 miles to go south and about 6000 east – depends a bit on how far south we actually go in the Indian Ocean. Do I need to talk about great circles? The shortest distance between any two points on the earth’s surface follows an arc of a great circle. A great circle is the imaginary line that would follow the edge of any plane that passes through the centre of the earth – so if you were to slice the earth into two halves through the centre, with the slice also taking in the two points (say Cape Town and Maatsuyker – and there’s only one way that it is possible to do this) the shortest distance between them would be the shorter of the two arcs of the ‘slice’. In this case, the line would go way down south past Kerguelen and into the Ice, where we ain’t going to go. The straight line along 45 south is a few hundred miles longer and will add an equivalent time to our journey. It is also likely to be much less windy, so also slower, but – with a bit of luck – much safer and more comfortable.

We will probably stay as close to 40S as we can and duck down at the end to 45, just like for Cape Horn.

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